G20 and Sustainable Development – A Glance at the G20 Leaders’ Communique Hangzhou Summit
By admin September 9, 2016

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Almost one year after the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all 193 Member States last September, leaders of the G20 gathered in Hangzhou, China to join the group’s eleventh meeting. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also attended the summit and urged further efforts by G20 countries to fulfill their commitments to promote sustainable development and tackle climate action.

In the official G20 Leaders’ Communique, sustainable development is frequently put forward as a fundamental goal to be achieved by greater G20 collaboration. The ambition to align strategically with the universal implementation of UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development and the Paris Agreement on addressing climate change is reaffirmed in the following:

“We are determined to foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy to usher in a new era of global growth and sustainable development, taking into account the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Agreement.”

Inclusiveness is placed as one of the four key foundations (Vision, Integration, Openness, and Inclusiveness) based on which the Hangzhou Consensus is formed. “We will work to ensure that our economic growth serves the needs of everyone and benefits all countries and all people including in particular women, youth and disadvantaged groups, generating more quality jobs, addressing inequalities and eradicating poverty so that no one is left behind,” highlighted in the G20 leaders’ year-end communique.

The Consensus also promises stronger support to promote innovation-driven growth, particularly for skills training in science, technology and innovation (STI). Entry of more women into these fields is pointed out as a key aspect, as well as voluntary knowledge diffusion and technology transfer. According to its New Industrial Revolution (NIR) Action Plan, the G20 will provide support for industrialization in developing countries, especially those in Africa and Less Developed Countries (LDCs), and seek for extension of benefits to all, including women, youth and disadvantaged groups. To encourage greater participation, value addition and upward mobility in global value chains (GVCs) by low-income countries, the G20 also encourages policy that favor firms of all size, in particular, women-led firms and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The development of “green finance” is expected to scale up in order to support global environmentally sustainable growth, despite various challenges to be conquered. Investment in energy projects and better regional interconnection, particularly in sustainable energy projects, are also expected to be continued to ensure future energy security and prevent disturbing price spikes. Voluntary Action Plans on Electricity Access and Renewable Energy, as well as the G20 Energy Efficiency Leading Programme, are endorsed as collaborative arrangements to address energy issues, such as barriers to electric access in some Sub-Saharan and Asia-Pacific countries.

The Hangzhou Summit Communique has displayed a positive signal and a global ambition for sustainable development. As discussed in a recent article “China’s G20 Leadership and the Challenges of Sustainable Development,” the UN Sustainable Development Goals may not be a major step towards the final destination, “it is definitely a step in the right direction – as is the Hangzhou Summit’s thematic focus on promoting innovative growth and a global development partnership”. 

For more information:

China’s G20 Leadership and the Challenges of Sustainable Development

G20 Leaders’ Communique Hangzhou Summit

G20 Summit: Commitment to Climate Change Action Reaffirmed but Details Lacking

The G20 embraces green finance

The G20’s race to green the financial system

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